The General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses has just released its latest report regarding the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in prisons in Turkey. According to its ‘Penitentiary Institutions during the Covid-19 Pandemic’ report, coronavirus positive cases have been registered in 117 out of 368 prisons in Turkey. The previous report by the General Directorate was released last June.
The report states that 120 convicts and prisoners who tested positive for Covid-19 continue to be treated in health institutions. It was stated that there are no Covid-19 patients who are either in intensive care or intubated in prisons. It was also claimed that 12 prisoners have lost their lives because of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the report: “Since 14 March 2020, 10 convicts who lost their lives on 3 April, 4 April, 8 April, 15 April, 15 May, 21 May, 28 July, 12 August, 21 August and 24 October had chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, tuberculosis, COPD, asthma and they were treated in hospitals before or during the epidemic due to these diseases). Two convicts who died on 12 September and 2 October died due to complications in their immune systems due to the Covid-19 virus”.
At the start of the pandemic, the government of Turkey began to release thousands of prisoners to avoid the virus spreading in prisons. However, political prisoners and journalists were not included in this list of prisoners to be considered for release.